Akoy Agau is 'getting there' for the Cards

University of Louisville freshman Akoy Agau will be pressed into service more than expected with the dismissal of Chane Behanan from the team. Agau played six minutes against Central Florida and that number will go up. Is he ready? Cardinal Authority takes a closer look.

Akoy Agau wasn't expecting to play a ton of key minutes for the University of Louisville basketball team this winter.

The 6-foot-9 native of Sudan came from Omaha, Neb., with a ton of skills but a game that needed some time to translate into the college game. Agau said during media day that he was "learning every day and making improvements."

Now, 14 games into the season and Agau has to be pressed into service. The Cardinals lost Chane Behanan, who was dismissed from the team earlier this week, forcing coach Rick Pitino to give Agau more looks at the four position.

Pitino played Agau six minutes in a 90-65 win over Central Florida on Tuesday and after the game told Cardinal Authority that the younger was "starting to get it."

"He's playing better," Pitino said.

Agau has played in nine games for the Cardinals and is averaging 4.9 minutes per game. He has a total of two points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots in his limited time.

In the UCF win, Agau had one rebound and one block and didn't attempt a field goal.

"He's just not totally ready to play the game defensively," Pitino said. "Like, he didn't block out on a free throw. A simple block out and he didn't do it.

We'll just push him a long and get him ready. He'll get there."

Agau said after the UCF game that he feels like he's showing improvement but is still "trying to work hard every game." He helped lead Omaha Central to four straight Nebraska Class A state titles as a senior.

"I feel I am getting better, a little bit," Agau said. "But I still have a lot of things to work on. Just a lot of little things."

While Pitino has Montrezl Harrell starting at the four and can use Wayne Blackshear, expect Agau to get a few chances to contribute.

"There's nothing like playing in games, so I think that's going to help me a lot," Agau said. "The more minutes I get, the better off I will be. So, I do think that's a big thing for me.

"I'm excited about the rest of the season."


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